Are prosecutions of white-collar crimes on the decline?

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2021 | Blog, White Collar Crimes

There are many types of white-collar crimes. Laws prohibit wire fraud, embezzlement, insider trading and various schemes. Those charged with these and other felonies may find themselves inside a California federal courtroom facing significant prison time. Not all defendants have the same experience, though. Statistics show a decline in white-collar criminal prosecutions.

A decrease in white-collar prosecutions

The notion that white-collar criminal prosecutions declined does not come from speculation. Information compiled by the U.S. Justice Department reveals a decline of nearly 5,000 prosecutions in 2021 vs. prosecutions that occurred in 2001. Since 2021 has not ended, the figures only represent prosecutions projected for the first nine months. Regardless, those nine months indicate projections of 4,727. 2001’s figures show more than 9,000 prosecutions.

A lack of prosecutions does not necessarily reflect a decrease in criminal activity. Instead, district attorneys may decline to prosecute at a higher rate now than in previous years. Whether that trend in criminal justice continues is unknown.

Other factors could influence a prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute. A weak case against the defendant or concerns about the legality of obtained evidence may make things challenging for prosecutors.

Dealing with white-collar criminal charges

Whether the volume of prosecutions declines means little to those facing charges. While a percentage of district attorneys may decline to prosecute numerous cases of white-collar crimes, a defendant likely only worries about his or her case. Once indicted, mounting a defense becomes necessary.

Questions may arise about plea bargain arrangements. If federal prosecutors seemingly decline to bring cases to trial, would this indicate an increase in plea bargain arrangements? Again, persons charged with crimes likely worry about their own cases. However, a plea bargain deal could save someone from a harsher sentence. Exploring plea bargain arrangements may be an option depending on the particulars.